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2013 RASC Observer's Handbook

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#1 Tom T

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 09:18 AM

RASC Observer's Handbook

#2 moynihan

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 09:52 AM

indispensible

#3 stevew

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 02:00 PM

Great Book, mind you we Canadians already knew that.
But "Perfect for your bathroom" seriously Tom? :lol:


Steve

#4 t.r.

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:44 PM

Using it for years...one stop reference!

#5 Tom T

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 05:43 PM

Great Book, mind you we Canadians already knew that.
But "Perfect for your bathroom" seriously Tom? :lol:


Steve


Hey - with two kids in the house, that's the only chance I get for peace and quiet! ;)

#6 JayinUT

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 08:00 PM

The bad news Tom is that as they grow up, they stay at home and then their friends come over so there are more of them than ever and soon, the only room you'll have is the bathroom in the house as a room you can go online in, read in etc.

#7 Tom T

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 08:56 PM

I am finding this out already.

#8 davidmcgo

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 08:59 PM

My only complaint about the Observer's Handbooks is how thick they've gotten in the last few years. I'd prefer the background articles be in a separate supplement and just keep the useful at the eyepiece and changing yearly info in the handbook itself.

My eyepiece box lid doesn't quite close with the 2013 edition and the Pocket Star Atlas laying in there.

But that's my only gripe, I've been getting and using these since 1980 or so.

Dave

#9 operascope

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 12:55 AM

I got my first copy recently, and it is a wonderful resource. Great aid for planning your observing. I also like the background articles.
Like the others said: "Just get it."

#10 dan777

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 12:12 PM

Last year my wife was going to get me a copy for Christmas. She was told that you have to be a member in order to purchase one. She didn't believe that this was correct and asked the customer rep to double check the policy. My wife got the same answer and that was the end of that discussion.

This year one of my daughters purchased a copy for me for Christmas. Her credit card was charged for the book and then then very next day her credit card was charged again. My daughter called the office and the customer rep found the double billing in her records, but would not credit my daughter's credit card. Before a credit is issued, my daughter has to send two documents: (1) A copy of her credit card statement showing the double charge. (2) A copy of the following month's credit card statement showing that there is no unpaid balance that matches the cost of the book.

My wife and kids are not new to dealing with vendors over the phone. All my birthday and Christmas gifts are purchased over the phone - most are telescope related :) My wife and daughter said that of all the vendors they have dealt with, this vendor was the worst by far.

#11 Tom T

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 12:23 PM

Anybody can flub something, but if I had your experience I'd probably look for a different vendor. No idea who you used, but:

Here's one fulfilled by Amazon.com

#12 gatorengineer

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 02:16 PM

Tom,

Looks like a great book, and the RASC looks like a great organization.

As a side bar and in hopes that someone from there org reads this. I wish they had an E-Membership or something that would allow folks to download some of their works (observing challenges etc). $25 for access to the challenges would be great. $86, not so much.

Back on topic, nice review and thanks

#13 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 04:23 PM

It's an excellent reference that I've used for many years.

Dave Mitsky

#14 dan777

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 05:09 PM

Anybody can flub something, but if I had your experience I'd probably look for a different vendor. No idea who you used, but:

Here's one fulfilled by Amazon.com



Aaaahhh, I just assumed you had to buy directly from RASC (in Canada). Dumb me! What makes it more embarrassing is that I'm a big Amazon customer. Amazon charges $2 more for the book, but free shipping saves $11.

So US buyers => buy from Amazon, not directly from RASC (notwithstanding the customer reps that don't know what they're doing).

Thanks Tom

#15 Magellan

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 08:00 AM

I have been using the handbook for years, never had any issues with it but of course I am from Canada as well, which helps and is included in my membership fee.

The Astronomical Society is great! filled with professionals and amateurs alike. I received the Messier certificate from the society, they have a goto certificate and a manual certificate. I did it the hard way, with a 4" shorty refractor on a manual EQ5 mount, oh the joys, but they taught me a lot and still learning.

#16 Astro Canuck

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 10:53 AM

It is a good book but the Radio Meteor section really needs to be revised :foreheadslap:

#17 knightware

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:47 PM

Another purchasing option for members of astronomy clubs: a volume discount order. I made one on behalf of my astronomy club and got the shipment just after publication. Couldn't beat the price from another vendor either.

Although much of the information can be found somewhere online, the book presents in a handy, compact format. A very enjoyable reference.

#18 npc

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 11:34 PM

Since the review has been updated for the 2014 edition... .

First, I love the Observer's Handbook. The first one I have on my shelf is from 1989. RASC does a fabulous service to the astronomical community, and I know they use revenue from sales of the handbook to fund a lot of wonderful programs, all of which I support... .

... at the same time, I don't buy a copy every year because such a large chunk of it is repetitive. I really wish they'd split it into two parts, the RASC Observing Guide, which would be a book of the material that changes little from year to year. They could publish a new edition every several years or so. They can also accumulate things like their featured constellation, cluster of the year, etc.. Then annually publish the material that actually changes every year in a smaller and less expensive package, one that more people would buy every year.

I don't know the economics of the handbook well enough to know how this affects things, but I expect there are a lot of people who would find this split more valuable. I know I'm one of them. If the annual material were smaller and less expensive, I'd buy an update every year, and it would be a lot easier for me to recommend the observing guide as a great time-independent resource to other astro-enthusiasts.

It's entirely possible that making this change would cost them money, and if so, I completely understand why they wouldn't do it. To me, though, it makes a lot of sense.

#19 dstiebs

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 09:34 AM

I bought this years Handbook on 12/30/13 and have still not received it. After e-mail after e-mail and the promise they will get it right out to me I still have not received it. Now I paid full price plus 10.00 S&H and now have lost the month of January. Thanks for letting me vent. Still waiting.






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